SAFETY TIPS

SAFETY AND SECURITY

ABKHAZIA AND SOUTH OSSETIA

Tensions are high in both breakaway regions. Unexploded ordnance, landmines and explosions may pose a risk in those parts of Abkhazia and South Ossetia where military operations have occurred.

Terrorists have carried out attacks in Abkhazia and South Ossetia. They typically use car bombs to target military and security facilities. Exercise a high level of personal security awareness at all times.

Canadian officials may not be in a position to provide consular assistance to Canadians in these areas, due to security concerns and travel restrictions.

Risk levels

RUSSIAN BORDER REGIONS

Avoid entering or leaving the country via land borders with Russia in these republics:

  • Chechnya
  • Dagestan
  • Ingushetia
  • Kabardino-Balkaria
  • Karachay-Cherkessia
  • North Ossetia

CRIME

Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, occurs. Inadequate lighting in public places increases the likelihood of crime.

  • Do not carry large amounts of cash and do not display signs of affluence
  • Ensure that your personal belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times
  • Pay careful attention when your credit card is handled by others during payment processing

Muggings, home invasions, carjackings, sexual assaults and other violent crimes against foreigners have occurred.

Do not visit disreputable bars and neighbourhoods, where local law enforcement may be unable or unwilling to intervene. In one scam that is particularly common in Tbilisi, locals invite tourists to bars for food and drinks, and then force them to pay a steep bill.

KIDNAPPING

Kidnappings have occurred in Abkhazia, South Ossetia and other areas bordering Russia. You should travel in a group. Do not walk or take the subway alone after dark. Vary your routine and lock doors to cars and residences. Avoid showing signs of affluence and exercise vigilance in crowded places, such as markets and public transportation facilities.

DEMONSTRATIONS

Political demonstrations take place regularly in Georgia, especially in Tbilisi. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

More about mass gatherings (large-scale events)

ROAD SAFETY

Traffic accidents are a common cause of injury and death.

Drive defensively. Poor road conditions, reduced driving standards, insufficient road markings and inadequate lighting create hazards.

Avoid driving after dark.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Use only officially marked taxis and negotiate fares in advance. Do not share rides with strangers.

Exercise caution when travelling over long distances by train at night and when alone. Do not leave the compartment unattended. Lock the cabin door from the inside.

AIR TRAVEL

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

General information about foreign domestic airlines

MOUNTAINEERING AND HIKING

Accurate information on mountain conditions can be difficult to obtain, and weather in mountainous areas can be unpredictable.

If you intend on engage in mountaineering or hiking:

  • never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary, including when you expect to be back to camp
  • know the symptoms of acute altitude sickness, which can be fatal
  • obtain detailed information on trekking routes or ski slopes before setting out and do not venture off marked trails

GENERAL SAFETY INFORMATION

Standards of police practice may differ from those you might expect in Canada.